IMG Academy

Last updated

IMG Academy
Type Private boarding school
Industry Boarding school, camp, sports camps, adult & family programs, team training, professional & collegiate training
Headquarters Bradenton, Florida, U.S.
Key people
Chip McCarthy, Managing Director
Parent IMG WME

IMG Academy is a preparatory boarding school and sports training destination in Bradenton, Florida, United States.



Nick Bollettieri founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in 1978. Sports and entertainment company IMG purchased the academy in 1987. [1] IMG acquired the youth division of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in 1993 and added programs for soccer and baseball in 1994. Hockey and basketball programs were added in 2000 and 2001, respectively, and by 2002 the IMG campus had expanded to 190 acres (0.77 km2). [2] IMG Academy suspended its hockey program in 2003.[ citation needed ] Football was added in 2010, [3] as well as lacrosse. [4] Track & field and cross country were added in 2013. [5]

IMG Academy currently sits on 450 acres (180 ha) of land, and in 2011, IMG paid $7.5 million for an additional 110 acres (45 ha) adjacent to the current campus for future expansion. [1] In 2014, IMG purchased an additional 24 acres (9.7 ha). The land borders IMG's west campus, where the sports performance academy is undergoing a $198 million expansion. [6]

The IMG Pendleton School was founded in 1999 as a co-educational, college preparatory school for athletic students. In 2012, the school changed its name to "IMG Academy". [7] It delivers both academics and athletics. [8]


Bollettieri tennis

The Bollettieri tennis program offers year-round tennis camps ranging from one to five weeks in length and is led by director Rohan Goetzke. [9] The campus has 35 outdoor hard courts, 5 indoor hard courts, and 16 green clay courts. [10]

In 1987, thirty-two academy students or former students were in the Wimbledon draw and twenty-seven were in the U.S. Open. Famous past students include Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Kei Nishikori, Anna Kournikova, Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova.[ citation needed ]


IMG announced the John Madden Football Academy in March 2010 and held its first camp from June 4–6, 2010. The football program offers a residency program and year-round camps ranging from three days to five weeks in length and was previously led by former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke. [11] The academy fielded a high school football team for the first time in 2013. [12] In 2013, MaxPreps called IMG Academy the "nation's top high school football facility." [13] IMG Academy named Kevin Wright the head coach in spring 2015 after Weinke accepted a position as quarterbacks coach with the Los Angeles Rams. [14] Wright guided the program to its first undefeated regular season (9–0) in 2015. [15] Earnest Byner, the running backs coach is featured in NFL Undiscovered which, since 2016, has featured overseas prospects who have little or no prior knowledge of the game.


IMG Academy offers an Academy soccer program and year-round soccer camps. IMG Academy was home to U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program for the United States' U-16 and U-17 men's national teams. Started in 1999 and closed in 2017, it was integral in developing the United States' top youth soccer prospects. The original idea of the residency program was to give elite players the opportunity to train in a professional environment as most MLS clubs did not have a substantial youth academy system in place prior to 2009. The Bradenton Academy has grown from an initial 20 players to 30 in 2002 and then to 40 in 2003. The program is now split into a U-16 squad and a U-17 squad.

A typical day for the student-athlete at Bradenton consists of academic classes in the morning followed by sports training in the afternoon. Students at the academy take accelerated courses and graduate high school a year early, making the players who do not turn pro immediately some of the most heavily recruited prospects in college soccer. The academy can trace its roots back to Project 2010 which highlighted ways U.S. Soccer could make the senior men's national team a legitimate threat to win the World Cup by the end of the decade. Two programs that were born from Project 2010 were Generation Adidas (previously called Project-40) and the Bradenton Academy. The academy was started in January 1999 with the backing of IMG and Nike, but was closed in 2017 due to the proliferation of U.S. Development Academy programs. [16]


IMG Academy has an Academy baseball program and year-round camps, in addition to summer Wood Bat Leagues. [17]


IMG Academy's post graduate program played in their only appearance in the 2016 National Prep Championship in New Haven, Connecticut. Among the teams were Brewster Academy, DME Academy, Elev-8 Sports Institute, Fork Union Military Academy, Hargrave Military Academy, IMG Academy, Northfield Mount Hermon School, and more. [18] The head coach of IMG's national high school team is Sean McAloon, who previously was the head coach at St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C.

Its basketball alumni include Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell and Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, the 6th overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft. In 2017, IMG Academy had its first two selections to the McDonald's All American Game, Trevon Duval was selected to the boys game and Rellah Boothe was selected to the girls game. In 2018, Anfernee Simons would enter directly from the academy to the 2018 NBA Draft, being the second player in the academy's history to do so and the third overall player to be drafted directly out of the high school.

During the preparation for the 2017 NBA Draft, the IMG Academy hosted their first ever draft combine. The Professional Basketball Combine would be held as an alternative (mainly for seniors) to measure their abilities and potentially give them the chance to enter the NBA, if not allow them the chance to play in the NBA G League or even overseas, with nearly every participant that year doing exactly that. Currently, four players that participated in the event signed two-way contracts to enter the NBA properly, with eight of them going overseas and 11 players entered the G League. [19] The event would be held once again in 2018, gaining more popularity that year with the participation of former UCLA player and current professional player LiAngelo Ball. [20]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire WNBA 2020 season was held there. Under a plan approved on June 15, the shortened 22-game regular season would be held without fans present. [21] [22] [23]


IMG Academy has a golf program and offers summer camps. The students and camp participants play on three golf courses Sara Bay Country Club, IMG Academy Golf Club and Palm Aire Golf Club. IMG's practice facilities include a double sided range, two putting greens and two chipping greens which is open to golf students most of the day.


IMG Academy has an Academy lacrosse program and year-round camps. IMG Academy launched a high school team in 2012, featuring a new women's program made in 2018. Notable alumni include Tehoka Nanticoke, [24] Marc-Antoine Pion, [25] Zack Pinney and Nick Wood. Prior to that, IMG Academy hosted their first full-time lacrosse student-athlete, Matthew Xirinachs, starting in September 2010. Xirinachs went on to join the Drexel Men's Lacrosse Team in the fall of 2011. [26] The women's team hired head coach, Jeff McGuigan in July 2019.

Track and field and cross country

IMG Academy has an Academy track & field and cross country program and year-round camps. [27]

Notable alumni

Since opening in 1978, IMG Academy has trained hundreds of Olympic and professional athletes, including those in the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, ATP, WTA, PGA Tour and LPGA Tour.

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Coordinates: 27°26′28″N82°36′07″W / 27.441°N 82.602°W / 27.441; -82.602